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The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions is comprised of diverse health care disciplines, including nursing, health care administration, athletic training, public health and health care informatics. We are united by the common goal of training the next generation of health care professionals and leaders to effectively address health care challenges. The content of this blog includes perspectives on current health care topics, discussion about health care trends, a showcase of successful alumni and faculty and posts about our passion for our respective fields.
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Category: RN to BSN
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By Catherine Beasley
Adjunct Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

My career in nursing started in the small town I grew up in where the hospital was home to 20 beds. My father was a physician and my mother worked in the lab. In high school I took a nurse’s aide class and worked as a nursing assistant for a year. I loved the work and admired the nurses that worked alongside me. Their competence regarding rural nursing and compassion for patients inspired me to become the nurse and person I am today.

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Nurses take on many roles in healthcare facilities, from caring for patients to speaking with doctors to keeping patient information secure and confidential. It is easier to keep up with these responsibilities and further your career when you are learning about what is new and different in the healthcare industry. Taking steps, such as enrolling in the RN to BSN degree program, can help you improve your nursing practice.

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Nurses who network successfully often find it easier to advance in their career. They also have a strong support system to lean on, as only another nurse can truly understand the common challenges faced by nursing professionals. Networking isn’t difficult, but it does require a little effort. Here are a few networking tips for nursing professionals to help you start building relationships:

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By Christine Bartholomew
Adjunct Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

How did you begin your career in nursing? For me, it was a calling. I began by looking for a job opportunity as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and I quickly discovered that I enjoy taking care of others. I had wanted to be a dance teacher, but shortly after my first year as a CNA, I knew that nursing was my calling.

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You probably became a nurse because you felt called to help others in need. This is admirable, but there is no shame in admitting when you are starting to experience nursing burnout. The long hours, last-minute schedule changes and demanding patients can take a toll after a while – not to mention the heartbreak of losing patients to diseases and physical trauma. Most nurses go through this, whether they acknowledge it or not. Fortunately, there are ways you can reignite your passion for nursing. Try a few different things to find out what works for you:

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Nursing careers demand an extensive knowledge base and strong technical skills, but there is more to nursing than taking vital signs and administering medications. Registered nurses are also de facto family counselors. Exceptional nurses recognize that patient behaviors are often driven by emotion. By cultivating their own emotional intelligence, nurses are better able to serve their patients and support positive workplace relationships.

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Better patient outcomes and lower mortality rates are top priorities for many hospitals. With advances in technology, education and systems, more families are getting the care that they need. While better patient care has always been a universal goal for healthcare systems, the question becomes, “How can hospitals provide better patient outcomes?” An authority in her field, Linda Aiken’s research over the past few decades has helped to provide an answer to this question and transformed the nursing landscape for nurses who are considering earning their Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

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If you are a registered nurse considering earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing, you may already be considering a number of different decision factors. Your time, money and skills are valuable, so it is key to determine the true worth of earning a BSN. If you are determining whether or not to earn your BSN, you can start by assessing your earning potential, opportunities to improve patient outcomes and career opportunities. 

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In 1993, the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC) began awarding Magnet status to hospitals that satisfied a set of criteria that measured the strength and quality of their nursing. A Magnet hospital delivers excellent patient outcomes, with a high level of job satisfaction for nurses, a low nursing staff turnover rate and appropriate grievance resolution. One of the criteria of the Magnet status is that nurse leaders must have at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing – and many of these hospitals specifically seek BSN-prepared nurses to staff a majority of their nursing positions in an effort to deliver better patient outcomes.

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We live in a world where a strong education is key and new cutting-edge technology is a constant in the medical world. While registered nurses provide excellent care to all of their patients, the Institute of Medicine is recommending that 80% of nurses earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing by 2020. However, according to the American Nurses Association, only 45% to 50% of nurses currently hold this credential.

Why should nurses earn their BSN? Why are hospitals and other healthcare organizations seeking BSN-prepared nurses? One reason is that studies show that BSN-prepared nurses have lower rates of patient mortality.

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